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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  May 11, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT

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wasn't something we all discussed or considered. >> the president steps up for equality, while mitt romney apologizes for being a bully. tonight, singer clay aiken on why the president's remarks makes things better for everyone. army captain steven hill, who was booed at a republican debate for being gay, on the president's leadership. and mike rogers on all the political fallout. michele bachmann loved her ed show expose so much, today she renounced her swiss citizenship. >> i think people would be -- would love to see an expose like that. >> we'll have the latest on swiss family bachmann. and scott walker is using taxpayer money to try to save his job. wisconsin lieutenant governor candidate mailen mitchell is here for an ed show exclusive interview. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. president obama and mitt romney couldn't be farther apart on how they handled the issue of
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marriage equality. abc's "good morning america" aired their full interview this morning. >> you know, malia and sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. and frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective. you know, not wanting to somehow explain to your child why somebody should be treated differently, when it comes to the eyes of the law. >> for young people who are gay in america, the president's comments could save lives. this is not the first time president obama stood up for people who are made to feel lesser because of their sexual orientation. >> you are not alone. you didn't do anything wrong. you didn't do anything to deserve being bullied. and there is a whole world waiting for you, filled with possibilities. there are people out there who love you and care about you, just the way you are.
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and so if you ever feel like because of bullying, because of what people are saying that you're getting down on yourself, you've got to make sure to reach out to people you trust. whether it's your parents, teachers, folks that you know care about you, just the way you are, you've got to reach out to them. >> the president's message was part of the it gets better project. the campaign is devoted to providing support no young people in the lbgt community in america. victims of bullying are between two and nine times more likely to consider suicide than those who have not been bullied. the focus on the issue is real bad timing for mitt romney. it seems like romney's campaign is getting hit by a new mac truck every day. well, today's no different. the cover story on "the washington post" is another incident that they've got to deal with. former schoolmates of mitt romney told the paper how romney abused, abused classmates who were believed to be gay. the article describes how one
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victim, his eyes filled with tears, screamed for help. romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors. another student who was a closet homosexual says his efforts to speak out in class were punk waited with romney shouting, "atta girl." on another occasion, romney walked a blind teacher into a closed door while class mates laugh. this is why, i guess we vet our presidential candidates, isn't it? the story is now on the record and the public will just have to render judgment on who this man is. mitt romney knows this story has the potential to really hurt his candidacy. today, romney, the campaign put out a call for romney's old classmates to come forward and defend the candidate. romney did some damage control for himself on fox news today. >> i don't recall the incident, myself, but i've seen the reports and i'm not going to argue with that. there's no question that i did
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some stupid things when i was in high school. and obviously, if i hurt anyone by virtue of that, i would be very sorry for it and apologize for it. >> but romney also rationalized the behavior by saying he didn't know the victim's sexual orientation. romney and his friends were beating up a weaker kid, just for the hell of it? not because he was gay? >> i had no idea what that individual's sexual orientation might be. going back to the 1960s, that wasn't something that we all discussed or considered. >> i think we can all agree that people change throughout their lifetimes. no one should be held accountable today for every action he or she takes as a teenager, but these stories, i think, give us a snapshot of who mitt romney is. the guy who forced a hair cut on a helpless can kid is the same guy who wants to force a haircut on the poor in this country, along with the middle class, if he becomes president. today, the republican house passed the paul ryan budget plan. mitt romney supports this plan, which would cut funding for food stamps, medicaid, and health care in america.
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when mitt romney was in high school, he was picked -- he picked on the most vulnerable members of the school community. the republican party, wh are they doing? they doing the same damned thing. the gay community is not immune from gop attacks. remember this? >> in 2010, when i was deployed to iraq, i had to lie about who i was, because i'm a gay soldier, and i didn't want to lose my job. my question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military? [ audience boos ] >> yeah, i -- i would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. >> not one candidate on the the debate stage at that time spoke out in support of the soldier, steven hill. not one candidate told the members of the debate audience that it is inappropriate to boo a u.s. serviceman. question is, where is the leadership in the republican party and where is mitt romney's? mitt romney had opportunities to act like a leader and he didn't
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do it. instead, with he's not much different than the preschool kid who bullied his classmates. and if you look at it, mitt romney was apparently raised in an atmosphere of intolerance. this man hasn't changed. just look at his position on marriage equality. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question. does mitt romney have any idea what it feels like to be bullied? text "a" for yes, text "b" for no to 622639, and you can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com and we'll bring you the results later on tonight in the show. i'm joined tonight by clay aiken, singer and entertainer, as well as celebrity spokesman for the gay and lesbian education network. and steven hill, the u.s. army reservist captain who was booed at the republican debate last september. gentleman, great to have you with us tonight. clay, you first, you have spoken out about anti-gay bullying and now the president has become very involved in this issue. obviously, in the last 24 hours, does he help young people who
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have been victims of bullying? where do you -- what kind of an impact do you think this will have, where the president is now? >> i think it has an incredible impact. being able -- being a young lbgt person, who hears your president speak out for your rights is very empowering. i mean, we talk a lot about role models, whether it be me or someone like ellen degeneres or neil patrick harris, lbgt individuals who are in the public eye, who have some degree of impact for youth who are struggling with bullying or feeling left out or ostracized, but when the president of the country, when the person who is the most powerful person in the world, really, speaks out and steps on to the correct -- on to the right side of history and says, i support the right for everyone, the freedom for everyone to marry and for every single individual to have the
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rights that we all -- that many people take for granted. i think it makes a huge statement to -- especially to youth, who might feel left out. and i'm thrilled that he did it. >> and that really is the issue. captain hill, your thoughts on the president's impact and how it will help young people in america who are dealing with their sexual orientation at such a young age and questioning themselves and going through the peaks and valleys of life, now that the president has come out and made his position known on this, how much will that help? >> i mean, president obama is one of the most influential people that i've ever, ever known, basically. and when i was deployed, i was so proud to be deployed under the first african-american president, because that's everything our country stands for, is, you know, anybody can become president in the country. and i think that when he comes up and stands up for equality for all american citizens, that's everything that i've thought for 20 years in the military for, is to have equality for everybody. >> i want to ask both of you, clay, first you.
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what do you make of the mitt romney story, about the incident in which he was reportedly involved in when he was in prep school. your thoughts on that? does this give us a snapshot of who he is? >> it's heartbreaking. it's a little frightening, as someone who has experience being bullied for being gay, all through school, through high school. it's sort of -- it sort of gives me flashbacks and concerns me. and, while of course there are people who do change through life, i think his apology today was disheartening, because it was sort of half-assed, if you will, to say if i hurt someone's feelings, i apologize for it. that's not necessarily the type of apology that's warranted for something so severe. i mean, to hold someone down and cut their hair, that's bullying. that's not -- that's -- that's abuse, really. and to kind of give a
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lackadaisical apology, half-heartedly, is certainly not as strongly as i would like to see him come out against gay bullying. i think he's got an opportunity now to speak out and say that, you know, that he believes that bullying lgbt youth is a problem in our schools and if he were in a position of power, he would do something about it. and we didn't hear anything at all like that today. >> captain hill, your thoughts on the romney issue? >> i have to be careful being in the military, because i can only speak out on behalf of myself, but i would always want to treat people the way i want to be treated. i guess that's the lesson of life and i think everyone should. that's all i can say about that. >> clay, dan sanders is the founder of the it gets better project. he wrote this on twitter. "gay people better get out there and support the president. if he loses in november, we'll be blamed." do you feel the same way? >> i definitely feel the same way about the first half. i don't know if we'd be blamed, necessarily. but i think that -- you look at
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two candidates who have starkly different track records on the rights of all citizens. mitt romney, governor romney, when he was governor of massachusetts, tried to defund the governor's commission on lbgt youth. he tried to defund a commission that worked to. stop the bullying of lgbt youth in schools. and president obama, on the other hand, is perhaps -- not perhaps, absolutely the most the -- the most accepting and equality-loving president we've had in our history. so as a gay man myself, i certainly feel more comfortable and more excited about president obama today, now that he's stepped out and said he values equality and fairness. >> and captain hill, last october mitt romney was asked about the incident in which you were booed. this is his response. here it is. >> oh, i have not made it my practice to scold the audience and say i disagree with this person, i agree with that
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person, because it's -- it goes in a lot of different directions. i don't recall whether this soldier, whether people were booing his question or just booing. >> captain hill, how do you think he handled that? did he do it appropriately? >> i can tell you that president obama handled it in a very different manner. and being in iraq and hearing the president of the united states stand up, when it's not politically convenient for him and it took a lot of risk, meant a lot to me and it made me proud to be an american and proud to be a soldier. >> clay, how do you think he handled that question? >> you know, again, sort of half-assedly. in order to be the president, i would hope you could take a stand and speak out against things you don't think are fair. that was not an example of someone doing that right there, obviously. and if someone wants to be in charge of the country, they've got to be able to say things that might upset people every once in a while, and that would be not him doing that there.
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>> clay aiken and stephen hill, great to have you on "the ed show" tonight. thanks for your insight. appreciate it. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on twitter @edshow. we want to know what you think. charles blow and mike rogers will join me next. and we're 26 days away from th historic recall elections in wisconsin. governor scott walker is using taxpayer money to help him survive. the democrat trying to unseat walker's lieutenant governor will join me. stay with us. lots more coming up.
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coming up, the political fallout on marriage equality is getting ugly for mitt romney. charles blow and mike rogers are next to discuss it. the president is literally laughing in mitt romney's face about the auto rescue. gene robinson along with the story. and the war on the poor is getting uglier. you will not believe the cuts republicans voted for in the house today. share your thoughts on twitter using #edshow.
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we're coming right back.
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welcome back to "the ed show." president obama may have given mitt romney a political opportunity on same-sex marriage, but romney, he just doesn't know what to do with it. romney is all over the place. he doesn't even think his party should be fund-raising on the issue. here's more. >> i hope the issue, as tender and sensitive as the marriage issue is, is not a source of fund-raising for either of us. there could be domestic partnership benefits, for instance, where one state might decide to provide hospital visitation rights. another state might decide to provide that as well as benefits
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of other kinds. i also know many gay couples who are able to adopt children. that's fine. but my preference is that we encourage the marriage of a man and a woman and that we continue to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. >> the truth is romney doesn't want to talk about it, at all. earlier today, when he was asked about a few social issues earlier, including gay marriage, he said this -- >> aren't there issues of significance that you'd like to talk about? the economy -- >> this is a significant issue in colorado -- >> the economy. the economy. the growth of jobs. the need to put people back to work. >> here's what he said right after that interview was over. >> i'm not running on marriage and marijuana. those are state issues. right? >> thank you. >> aren't they? really? >> yes. well, they could be federal issues. >> romney says they're state issues. but he supports a constitutional amendment banning all states from allowing same-sex marriage. he's not making any sense, is he? today romney's own adviser ed gillespie said romney will campaign on this issue, because it's another bright line
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difference with president obama. but mitt romney does not appear too eager to campaign on it. let's turn to mr. charles blow, columnist for "the new york times," and mike rogers, managing editor of rawstory.com. gentleman, good to have you with us tonight. charles, he's all over the map. he's -- i mean, it's like a train wreck. how does he recover if he does. >> i don't know if you can recover. and the problem with mitt romney is he keeps coming down on the wrong side of the fairness issue. whether it's policy, whether it's the gay marriage issue. the issue of basic fairness in this society, where do you stand and how does that contrast with the president, he's really on the wrong side of that. and he keeps what allowing to happen, he keeps ling the week to these issue. whether that's last week with the student loans and the president really coming out and pushing on that issue, or the president coming out and making this statement with this issue, and him kind of flip-flopping,
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wobbling, not knowing how to discuss it. and then with the discussion about him and bullying when he was in high school, the white house couldn't have planned this better, to have the president say what he had and then have that story come out. not not that what happens in high school should follow you forever, but mitt romney, again on the fairness question, could not, as an adult, say, i believe that bullying and taking advantage of someone who is weaker than you or who is different than you is wrong and i see how that has negative repercussions in society. that's the fairness issue. >> mike rogers, it seems like mitt romney once again is taking numerous positions here. this is not the man who ran for that senate seat back in the '90s in massachusetts. what do you make of all of this? >> well, of course in 1994, mitt romney said he was better on
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lbgt rights then ted kennedy. so it's quite astonishing. i don't know if that's a flip-flop. it's beyond a flip-flop. and i think with someone like him, you know, that whole etch a sketch candidate thing. there's no -- there's never anything that is from a place of, you know, the past where he's coming into the future. it's just this whole throwback thing, that they're continuing to promote. >> well, if it affects people's lives, then it's worth campaigning on. here's part of a web ad from the obama campaign, which was released today. here it is. >> same-sex couples should be able to get married. >> i indicated my view, which is, i do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and i don't favor civil unions, if they're identical to marriage, other than by name. >> charles, you talked about timing. you talked about organizing and how this all comes out.
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i mean, it's very clear that the obama campaign is fully prepared to say that we're for equality and they're not. >> right. and what a lot of people talked about yesterday was whether or not this was a risky thing for the president. you can see from this ad that the white house is not thinking of it as a risky thing. they're saying, we are going to embrace this concept and run with it. and we're going to see how that shakes out in the end. and i think that in the end, because of the enthusiasm from his base, and i think even in general, some people who go to the polls and say, if you force me to make a decision, i will choose a decision based on religion. in the broader scheme of things do agree with the basic concept of fairness, and also agree and support people who go with conviction. and that is what obama has that mitt romney does not, at this point. >> and mike, is president obama, is this going to be viewed as a very genuine move, or is this a political move, or just a move with political ramifications?
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how do you see it? >> well, in america today, of course, everybody says every single thing is political. and i agree with charles. i think at the end of the day, america will step up and say, this is the right thing to do. at the same time, i think it was an amazing mix of, you know, what with one friend called the perfect storm. you had the vice president on sunday. you've had all the work of the community. you had the north carolina vote that certainly the president was going to be pressured to address. and he could have punted. he could have done something else. he could have attracted news in other way. yet he took the risk. and clearly, it was something they knew they were going to do. they had ads at the ready, they were really behind this. and i think that it's incredibly genuine. i really do. >> and mike, ed gillespie says they will campaign on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. here we go, 2004 all over again. >> you know, ed, bring it on. eight years ago was a different time in america. and young people in the republican party, young republicans say, this is crazy. we don't want to hear our
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friends being beat up, our college buddies, our friends in their 20s. this is a new day and age, and i want mitt romney out there. i want him out there beating up gay people, because you know what, it's not 2004. it's about being honest. it's about equality. >> so, charles, does mitt romney get off this subject as quickly as possible? >> if i were the romney campaign, i would get off this as quickly as possible. this is a losing issue for anyone. people do not like to see the little guy getting beat up. we do not like to see minority populations in the country getting beat up, and this is a loser. >> charles blow, mike rogers, great to have you with us tonight. thank you. mitt romney's taking credit for the automobile industry success. next, we've got the president's reaction. eugene robinson of "the washington post" will join us. the war on the poor has gotten more vicious than ever, thanks to john boehner, paul ryan and house republicans. e.j. dionne will break it down. stay with us.
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welcome back to "the ed show." here on this program, here we show you this chart, illustrating private sector job growth under president bush and under president obama. we show it to you all the time, because those numbers aren't going to change. they don't lie. these are absolutes. this is what has happened. now it's made its way into the latest campaign ad for president obama. part of the reason for that is the success, is the recovery of the automobile industry.
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president obama saved the big three, yet mitt romney says he'll take credit for it. so what does the president think of that? >> mitt romney just recently said that he deserves the credit for the revival of the u.s. auto industry. how do you respond to that? >> well, you know, i think this is one of his etch a sketch moments. i don't think anyone takes that seriously. people remember his position, which was, let's let detroit go bankrupt. so had we followed his advice at that time, gm and chrysler would have gone under and we would have lost probably 1 million jobs throughout the midwest. >> romney was pressed further about his auto industry remarks on fox news. take a look. >> former michigan governor jennifer granholm said that you knifed us in the back for taking the auto rescue credit. what were you really saying there? because my memory serves me right, you were dead set against that rescue. >> no, here's what i said.
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and it's written down in an op-ed, where you can take a good look at it. >> it sure is. the title of the op-ed, let detroit go bankrupt, romney attempted to back up his claim. >> and i wrote an op-ed, this is back when george bush was president, and i said, don't write them a check. they need to go through a managed bankruptcy. the head of the uaw, he said that's absolutely wrong. these companies can't go through bankruptcy. it would never work. but you know what? that's finally what happened. the president finally came around and they went through a managed bankruptcy and now they're back on their feet. >> yeah, but they went through a managed bankruptcy with a lot of taxpayer dollars. were you trying to draw the distinction there? because mark zandi of moody's said without all those taxpayer dollars backing up the bailout, the bankruptcy filing that was pretty much, as you said, the case, would have never been possible. in other words, a bankruptcy filing alone, these guys still would have been in deep doo-doo. do you agree with that? >> well, what i said at the time was, in that op-ed, i said, as
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they go into bankruptcy, if government support is needed, if the government, for instance, has to provide guarantees, then that's something i would be open to. >> that is just the point. there were no guarantees. there was no liquid money floating around to help millions of americans. mitt romney doesn't know what the heck he's talking about. and you know what, this story isn't going to go away. because there's going to be a lot of cars and trucks sold between now and election day. and the numbers will keep adding up. joining me tonight is eugene robinson, nbc political analyst, and associate editor and pulitzer prize-winning columnist for "the washington post." eugene, why doesn't mitt romney just surrender on this story? it's like he keeps talking and it gets worse. how does he handle it? >> well, not this way. he cannot win this, because he wrote it down, he wrote down, you know, let's give him credit. let's say he didn't write the headline, "let detroit go bankrupt," but read the op-ed. he says, don't invest government money in the auto industry.
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let it go bankruptcy. and to talk about guarantees, he's implying, guarantees of backing loans that some private -- there was no private capital to lend to the auto industry. so gm would have gone under, chrysler would have gone under, and because of the destruction to the supply chains, ford, which was doing pretty well, probably would have gone under too. that's the fact. and anything else is just incoherent. >> well, this story, i think, is going to keep going, because there's going to be car sales and benchmarks every month, truck sales every month, and every time a positive number comes out, it's going to be resurrected by the media. i know i am. and romney is on the wrong side of street here. how much is this going to hurt him in the campaign? >> well, i think it's going to hurt him. it's going to hurt him more if he keeps trying to insist that black is white and that things didn't happen the way everyone knows they did happen. you know, i always thought that
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romney would have some difficulty switching from his primary campaign rhetoric to general election rhetoric you know, that's not brain surgery. george w. bush did it okay, so it can be done. but i'm surprised at really the level of, and i said it before, incoherence that we're seeing in some of these attempts to position himself for a general election. this stuff doesn't make sense. and it's going to hurt him. >> we are seeing some of the best debate material being put in front of us. i mean, when these two guys get together in debate, and this subject comes up, i would imagine romney's probably going to have another version. but he took credit for it, but then when he campaigned earlier this week in michigan, he didn't say a word about that, which is kind of an admission of a mistake, or do -- are you reading it differently? >> yeah, i don't read it differently, ed. i do think at some point, he's going to have to say, you know, i opposed the bailout of the
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auto industry, but the president did it, and it worked out fine, and i was wrong. you know, he did the right thing. i congratulate him. but this trying to have it both ways on a black and white issue, in which he's written it down, is never going to work. >> what he is the admitting to is the story in "the washington post" about him bullying a perceived to be gay student at his school, and actually, as the story read, leading a posse down the hall to go give this kid a haircut. now, romney is saying this happened 48 years ago. but if you look at his positions, he was intolerant in his actions then. he's intolerant in his political positions today. what do you make of it? >> i found it a fascinating story. i'm still trying to figure out exactly what i think of it.
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frankly, i think we are responsible for our actions, even if they took place long ago. and you take that into consideration. he was a kid, he obviously didn't know as much about the world as he knows now. and he's not necessarily a bully now. but imagine if it emerged that, say, president obama had done such a thing when he was a teenager, and i'm just imagining how that would get played. >> well, they would have probably reported him to be a gang leader. >> of course. of course. >> i mean, he would have paid a severe price for that. eugene robinson, great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." stay with us. the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. i wish they would. >> michele bachmann's story on her dual citizenship keeps changing. today she dropped another bombshell. we'll have the latest. scott walker is running scared.
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he's using taxpayer money to try to save his job. wisconsin governor candidate mailen mitchell will way in.
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well, after spending 15 months saying the state of wisconsin is broke, governor scott walker suddenly found $100 million to fund economic development in a very important city of milwaukee. and a month ahead of the recall election, he thought the timing was just great. here's what walker's democratic on the, milwaukee mayor tom barrett had to say about walker's wonderful change of heart. >> we would be pleased to have the governor and the state be a true partner. but i have to tell you, i question the sincerity of that when it comes 36 days before the recall election. the timing, one week, basically, after the state of wisconsin was identified as the only state in the entire country that had a statistically significant decrease in jobs, raises the
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question of whether this is about creating jobs in milwaukee or this is about saving scott walker's job. >> okay. so what's happening here? scott walker is trying to cash whip voters in milwaukee with taxpayer dollars. he's trying to make people forget that he was the worst jobs record in the country. that's what he's come up with. meanwhile, walker is blaming milwaukee's economic problems on you know who, the mayor of that city, mayor barrett. even though "forbes" pointed out, "the ability to make the types of investments that could help lift areas of the city out of poverty rests with the county and the state governments." scott walker was the milwaukee county executive from 2002 to 2010. he didn't do anything about poverty then and he didn't do anything about it for the first 15 months as governor of the state. the recall election is the only reason he's helping milwaukee now. of course, walker is not the only wisconsin republican facing a recall election on june 5th. four state senators and the lieutenant governor, rebecca clayfish, also have democratic
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challengers. mahlon mitchell, president of the professional firefighters of wisconsin won democratic nomination to challenge the lieutenant governor. he joins us here tonight. mahlon, good to have you with us. what do you make of -- >> good to be here, ed. >> well, i say he's cash whipping the folks in milwaukee county. how do you see it? >> well, you're exactly right, ed. what we're seeing is reactive approach to everything in government. if you just go back to last year, you talked about the job creation. we didn't actually have a special session to create jobs until october of last year, because we didn't apparently need jobs in january of 2011, but we needed jobs in october. if we go back to just that special session, again, robert stamp, we didn't do anything to create jobs. what he talked about is concealed carry, talks about abstinence-only sex education in schools, he talked about our deer season, how to fix a bicycle. that's why we were number one with 921 jobs lost in our state. >> now, you going up against
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rebecca clayfish, she has taken out an ad already and i want you to respond to this. here's what she's running as part of her ad. >> hi, i'm lieutenant governor rebecca clayfsh. last year i heard that a high-tech company from illinois loved by its employees was fed up with their state's new taxes. so i called them up and told them why they should move to wisconsin and they did. politifact rates that claim as mostly false, since the company was already looking into the moving the state of wisconsin and clefish played a minimal role at most in all of that. is that how you understand the situation? is that the way it unfolded? is she really stretching the truth there? >> it's so misleading, ed, i don't even like to look at it. it's just deceiving the people of our state. but we know the numbers. we lost 4,300 jobs just last month. so it's not working, and what she's saying is misleading. like you pointed out, politifact
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already said that it's wrong. mostly false. so she needs to stop running misleading ads and run on their record. be honest and run on your record and we'll let the people decide in the election. >> you were the president of the professional firefighters there in wisconsin. and you're actually the kind of worker in a kind of career that scott walker has really attacked. teachers, firefighters, police officers, public sector workers. and you were really, a real product of all of these protests in this movement that has taken place. you never really thought about running for political office before. what has motivated you? and i've seen the people in wisconsin respond to you when you walk down the street. i mean, they were really encouraging you to do this. how did this all unfold for you? >> well, the movement last year, ed, touched me in my heart. and you look at, i have a family. i have two kids. and this is about their future. but this is about the movement, this is about the people of our state, and it's about bringing
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our state together. i have the unique ability as a firefighter, i've been a firefighter for 15 years. what we do is we respond to emergencies. right now we have an emergency in our state at the capital house, and i'm responding to an emergency, and we've got to bring our state together so we can get back working so all the citizens of our state and make sure we're doing what government is supposed to do. that is to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves so much, and look out for all people, not just a select few. that's what we're seeing with governor walker and his policies. >> mahlon mitchell, good to have you with us tonight. good luck to you. we'll visit again. thanks so much. how long has american-loving michele bachmann been a citizen of switzerland? according to the congresswoman, over three decades. we've got the latest update to this dazzling story.
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coming up, has michele bachmann actually been a swiss citizen for much longer than we first thought? new details, next. and in the big finish tonight, republicans want to save the defense budget so they plan on cutting programs for the
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defenseless. don't forget to tweet us at #edshow. we're right back.
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welcome back to "the ed show." last night we reported on michele bachmann's defection to switzerland. bachmann's husband, marcus, is of swiss the decent, making his family eligible for swiss citizenship. according to bachmann's office, the bachmann clan applied for dual citizenship as a family. and she officially became a swiss citizen on march 19th. >> there he goes, on his way up the -- do you want to dance? do you want to do the polka with me. >> but that's not the whole story. bachmann released this puzzling statement last night saying she's been enjoying european socialism for 34 years. "i automatically became a dual citizen of the united states and switzerland in 1978 when i married my husband, marcus. this is a nonstory."
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>> we're going to dance until we get to the end of the mountain. >> well, bachmann's office told politico, disclosing the congresswoman's citizenship was not necessary. but there's yet another twist to this story. i am sad to report that this afternoon, bachmann officially cut ties with switzerland tweeting, "today i requested the withdrawal of my dual swiss citizenship. i want to be perfectly clear. i am a proud american." >> oh, my god -- are you kidding me?! [ male announcer ] it seems like every company
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has a facebook page these days. but where's the relationship status? well, esurance is now in a relationship...with allstate. and it looks pretty serious. esurance. click or call. ed show survey tonight, i asked, does mitt romney have any idea what it feels like to be bullied? 3% of you said yes, 97% of you said no. coming up next, e.j. dionne weighs in on the gop's war on
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the poor. don't forget, you can listen to my radio show on sirius xm radio channel 127, monday through friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. follow me on twitter @edshow and like "the ed show" on facebook. we are coming right back.
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and in the big finish tonight, house republicans take the war on the poor to a whole new level. republicans don't want automatic cuts in defense spending over
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the next ten years. after the failure of the super committee, it's called sequester. so they've proposed draconian cuts to spending instead. cuts to the elderly, children, the poor, and unemployed. today's vote passed with no support from democrats. here are the details of what republicans would do. tighten eligibility for food stamps. that means cuts. repeal block grants for meals on wheels. i say that's heartless. child care programs will be a thing of the past. and assistance for the elderly, well, they're going to cut medicaid and cut federal retirement benefits. you name it. this legislation came from paul ryan's budget committee and is called a reconciliation budget. i'll show you something that needs reconciliation. the nation's wage earners need an hourly compensation to match their productivity. the nation's middle class deserves a wage that doesn't stay flat over three decades while the vultures at the top get rich. there is a need for reconciliation in this country, but not the kind republicans
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have got in mind for america. joining me tonight, e.j. dionne, msnbc contributor, "washington post" columnist, and senior fellow at the brookings institution. heartless is what i call it. i can't think of a better word. but, e.j., this is going to hurt people and they want to give breaks to the wealthiest americans. i mean, how do you describe what's unfolding here? >> you know, ed, i respect the conservative tradition. i have a lot of conservative friends. but conservatism right now has really been degraded and narrowed. it's only principle right now in american conservatism is never, ever, ever, ever raise taxes on the rich, even if it means slashing programs for the neediest people. you look at what they did today. 40% of the total cuts came in programs for low and moderate-income people. food stamps, medicaid, children's health insurance. 200,000 low-income kids would lose school meals. and you know what?
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if they want to raise the defense budget, if they want to sort of get rid of some of those cuts that are online, schumer and the democrats over there said, look, put some revenue on the table. if you really care that much about defense, can't you tax some of the very well-off people that are being protected? but they're saying no. and as you pointed out, not a single democratic voted for this. and there are about two dozen moderate to conservative democrats who often vote with the republicans. and 16 republicans couldn't bring themselves to vote for this thing. so 16 republicans defected. this is a terrible thing. >> in some strange way, the republicans think that taking this vote in the house when they know it has no chance in the senate, no chance of the president going along with any of this, in some strange way, they think that this is going to politically help them. how do you figure? >> well, i guess they figure people won't look much at the cuts or they figure most of their constituents aren't affected by these cuts, or most
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of the people who vote for them aren't affected by these cuts. and look, with a lot of people want to offset those pentagon cuts, especially people with defense industries in their districts. and that's probably why they thought they might get some democratic votes on this. but, you know, i think that if people sort of take a look at what kind of government this is going to create and where is the balance in government at a time when there's rising inequality. it ought to be pushing a little bit in favor of the people who aren't doing so well. >> and the chart that we show, and we'll show it again, i mean, this is only going to feed into this separation. we've showed how productivity has gone up over the past years, but wages have not kept up. wage earners, they're not getting their fair share, and republicans want to make it even harder for the poor to stay afloat. it plays right into the what the obama campaign is all about right now. >> i thought tonight of an old mario cuomo line, who said, this is based on the philosophy that god helps those whom god has helped.
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and so you're just going to do more for the people who already have more. the other line i thought of tonight is from scripture. you know, isaiah said, we shall beat their swords into plow shares. this is beating plow shares into swords. this is taking from the very needy and giving to it pentagon. >> well, we just don't want to be our brother's keeper anymore. that is where the republican party is. e.j. dionne, great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. and a quick note before we go tonight, "the ed show" is losing one of its members this evening. you have never met her, but you have seen her tireless work on a daily basis on this program. kelly long has been a valued member and a very loyal member to the ed team. she was with me at 6:00 and then followed to the 10:00 show and now at 8:00. she is making a career change. she is going off to work for the state department. we know that she's going to make a world of difference there and represent the united states of america at the utmost very best. kelly, just remember, you can
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always come back. a big thank you from me and our team. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> good evening, ed. that was really sweet of you. and that's exciting about kelly. state department, huh? >> it is. and you know, people -- someone was telling me once that you have four careers in a lifetime. so, you know, this is a great opportunity for her and she can always come back. she's been absolutely fantastic. and we're going to miss her, for sure. >> that's awesome, ed. thank you, man. i appreciate. and good luck to you, kelly. and thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. in the 2008 presidential campaign, the republican party's vice presidential nominee, sarah palin, had a few instances on the campaign trail, being interviewed by reporters, where she just sort of famously and blatantly lost momentary verbal coherence. >> ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping -- it's got to be all about job creation too.

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